Two years ago, when Brad Parnell was laid off from his full-time job, a rough day turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It gave him more time to focus on his freelance work and his creative outlet, his freelance business that became Steadfast Creative, which now employs eight people and has since created roughly 60 unique websites for small and medium-sized businesses in Texas.
“This agency provides me with more work and opportunities than I had at my previous full time job,” Parnell says.
It also allows him to focus more on his true passions – designing unique, custom websites for businesses in the area and leading a talented team of creatives. Through the early freelancing days and the rapid growth of his business, the content management system that has supported Steadfast Creative is LightCMS.
Learning the Benefits
“From the beginning it was the most easy-to-use front end solution,” Parnell says. “Clients can be trained on it quickly and understand it easily. To this day, it’s one of the foundations for my small business clients that need an elegant solution and an easy interface for content."
Parnell tried working with a number of content management systems including Joomla and WordPress, but none of them seemed to fit the bill when he was starting up his company.
“From a business perspective, it’s been a very strong contributor and growth engine.”
“I was trying to find LightCMS before I knew what it was,” he says. “From a business perspective, it’s been a very strong contributor and growth engine.”
LightCMS is lightweight and easy to use, both for Parnell and his team, but also for his clients. The ability to show prospective customers how easy it is to edit their own websites has helped to win deals, according to Parnell.
One of the many designs by Steadfast Creative.
Additionally, since LightCMS hosts the websites and provides automatic feature upgrades, Steadfast Creative has a limited number of support requests, a lower overhead, and a larger recurring revenue stream. With other platforms, Steadfast’s resources are stretched by the larger time commitment for maintenance and upkeep.
“We’ve managed sites on other platforms and it can be a pain,” Parnell says. “It can mean a lot of support and dedicated time from our team that could be better put toward design work.”
Regular enhancements, like the LightCMS online store, also mean Steadfast Creative can expand its offerings with additional features as LightCMS adds new functionality seamlessly behind the scenes.
Leading with Design
Recently, a financial services company for which Steadfast Creative built a website several years ago returned asking Steadfast to make its existing site mobile ready. Steadfast Creative was able to make these enhancements easily because of LightCMS’s native support for responsive design capabilities that enable a site to automatically adapt to whatever mobile or other device is used to access it.
Furthermore, LightCMS hasn’t placed limitations on the creativity and vision of the Steadfast Creative team.
“We lead with our custom design,” Parnell says. “With a lot of content management systems there are constraints on design or how things can be laid out. The beauty of LightCMS is that my designers can fully design without thinking, ‘is this going to work on LightCMS?’ I’ve consulted with a lot of freelancers and people getting started and LightCMS is always my go to recommendation.”